On Friday 18th November, we held our latest Sweet Exchange, on this occasion to raise money for Bangalow Koalas. Bangalow Koalas is a local charity on a vital mission to create a koala wildlife corridor with 500,000 trees (koala homes) by the end of 2025. In February 2022, the declining New South Wales koala population was changed from “vulnerable” to “endangered” under Federal laws. On Friday, our campus rallied behind the cause and raised $422.35 by having a great time, sharing amazing sweets and enjoying music spun by our student / professional DJ Bernie.
Here’s how our Sweet Exchange worked
Everyone was assembled on the Friday prior to hear from our Campus and Academic Manager Lisa and teacher Maya about the mechanics of a Sweet Exchange and importantly why our fundraising efforts would be going to Bangalow Koalas.
On Monday, our Student Services Coordinator Dominic, went around to classes and encouraged everyone to make or buy something sweet and bring it to school on Friday. Students signed up so we knew what to expect on Friday and indicated whether their sweet was going to be vegan, gluten-free, nut-free etc.
On Friday, everyone dropped their delicious sweets off at reception and then headed to class. Before break we set up the Sweet Exchange room, it was $2 minimum donation to enter the room and enjoy. Our student Bernie charitably offered to DJ the Sweet Exchange so there was also a fantastic ambience in the room. Students flooded the room as soon as break started, and we may have extended their break a little considering how much fun everyone was having.
We held round 2 of the Sweet Exchange after class, this time students could donate any amount to enter the room and Bernie returned to DJ for us again. There was so much food donated that we needed to hold a round 3 of the Sweet Exchange on Monday at reception.
What have our Sweet Exchange’s raised in the past?
March 2018 – $275 for WIRES/Golden Oldies Animal Rescue
WIRES is Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organisation. WIRES rescues and cares for sick, injured and orphaned animals. Their mission is to rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same.
April 2019 – $158 Positive Change for Marine Life
November 2019 – $269.15 for Sugarshine Farm/Doctors without Borders
January 2020 – $1130 for WIRES Bushfire Appeal
October 2020 – $269.15 for RSPCA (with only 20 students!)
Why we fundraised for Bangalow Koalas?
We were introduced to Bangalow Koalas through our passionate teacher Maya, who works for the charity. The charity was founded in 2016 in a grassroots effort to protect Bangalow’s koala population that was being threatened by tree degradation and deforestation. Bangalow Koalas has accomplished an astonishing amount since its inception, planting over 215,000 trees to connect sections of koala habitat from Bangalow to Byron Bay and other surrounding areas. Additionally, they continue to run educational workshops for all ages to educate the community on the critical issue at hand.
Even with all their efforts, in February 2022, the declining New South Wales koala population was changed from “vulnerable” to “endangered” under Federal laws. Bangalow Koalas, with the help of donors like us, will continue to protect and hopefully grow the now endangered Koala population by creating a large Koala Wildlife Corridor with over 500,000 trees (koala homes) by the end of 2025.
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